Encouragement

  1. Encouraging Your Children with a Bible Reading Plan

    Encouraging Your Children with a Bible Reading Plan

    The new school year is well underway and, if your children are like most kids, their schedules are increasingly packed with tasks and activities—homework, sports practice, music lessons, church programs, friends, family, and more.  But what about Bible reading? Are you helping them to prioritize reading the Bible as a daily, beneficial habit? ... More

  2. Engaging and Equipping Parents for Discipleship

    Engaging and Equipping Parents for Discipleship

    Does it ever feel like the parents in your church seem to view children’s and youth ministry as a “drop-off” center meant to do the work of discipling their children? Or, maybe as a parent, you feel as if the church treats you somewhat like an incompetent outsider when it comes to discipling your own children? ... More

  3. Why They Need a Robust Training of the Mind

    Why They Need a Robust Training of the Mind

    Consider these statistics that author and parent Natasha Crain notes in her article, “What Your Kids Need for a Confident Faith”:

    61% of kids who were involved in church as recently as their teenage years become spiritually disengaged by their 20s—not actively praying, reading the Bible or attending church.This finding, based on the extensive surveys of researcher George Barna, is the alarm that has sent pastors, youth leaders, and young adult ministries desperately searching for answers. Multiple independent groups have since conducted their own studies and have identified the same trend—with some estimates of those turning away from Christianity as high as 88 percent. Why is this happening? Having studied the various survey results in depth, I think it’s fair to summarize the collective problem in one sentence: A lack of robust spiritual training has resulted in a featherweight faith for many of today’s young adults, and that faith is being blown away by attacks from our secular culture. ... More

  4. Devoted Together for All-Satisfying, Eternal Joy

    Devoted Together for All-Satisfying, Eternal Joy

    Not far from our home is a vast national soccer complex where children and youth from all around the country—and even the world—play and compete. I often drive by and am amazed to see hundreds of parents sitting there sweltering in 90-plus degree, humid temperatures to watch their children play. That takes some kind of devotion from both parents and their kids! (Not to mention the investment of time and money.) Sports is just one example of things families are “devoted” to…a list could go on and on, including academic achievement, music, travel, hobbies, etc. But parents, what do you want your family to be devoted to more than anything else? What alone will bring your children ultimate satisfaction and indestructible joy?  ... More

  5. Helping Children Delight In God’s Creation this Summer

    Helping Children Delight In God’s Creation this Summer

    When I was a child, and even into my teens, I spent most of my free time outdoors. Whether playing active games with friends, exploring the neighborhood woods, or simply lying in the grass trying to identify different shapes or figures in the clouds, we spent much of our summer disconnected from media or other electronics. Now that I am an adult, I have found I still benefit from enjoying the outdoors, as it evokes praise and admiration of God as I experience firsthand the wonders He has created. One way we can encourage our children to meditate on and give God praise for His wondrous works is to go on a "Praise Walk." How? First, read together Psalm 148. Help your children to identify all of the created things in the verse that are to give praise to God. ... More

  6. When a Little Child Prays to a Big God

    When a Little Child Prays to a Big God

    Here is a true story of how a little girl's simple faith in a big God taught her parents a big lesson.

    Does God care about a doll coat? Yes, He does. God cares about doll coats, and He cares about the faith of little girls.  ... More

  7. Encouraging Moms for Their Great Calling

    Encouraging Moms for Their Great Calling

    Mother’s Day will soon be upon us, but more than heart-warming cards, breakfast in bed, beautiful flowers, or a day of peaceful rest, I pray that motherhood would be seen and embraced for the great calling it is, as reflected in these words by Charles Spurgeon:

    O dear mothers you have a very sacred trust reposed in you by God! He has in effect said to you, “Take this child and nurse it for Me, and I will give you your wages.” You are called to equip the future man of God that he may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. If God spares you, you may live to hear that pretty boy speak to thousands, and you will have the sweet reflection in your heart that the quiet teachings of the nursery led the man to love his God and serve Him. Those who think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship, but dr ... More

  8. The Paramount Focus of Parenting

    The Paramount Focus of Parenting

    We often ask children what they want to be when they grow up. What are they aspiring to? What do they want to achieve? As parents, we also have desired outcomes for their lives—what we want them to be—and devote various resources and time toward achieving those outcomes. Think of the many hours we set aside for our children’s academic, sports, musical achievements, etc. However, we must never lose sight of what is most important for their lives—what they NEED to be more than anything else—and prioritize this above all other endeavors. ... More

  9. Planting Seeds of Righteousness

    Planting Seeds of Righteousness

    simile: n. a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another
    in one respect by the use of “like,” “as,” etc. The Bible uses similes frequently. They paint pictures for our eyes so our minds can grasp biblical truth. They borrow our familiarity with the ordinary to help us understand the profound. ... More

  10. Be Encouraged: God’s Eye Is Upon His Own Work

    Be Encouraged: God’s Eye Is Upon His Own Work

    One of the most discouraging things for a teacher or small group leader during a lesson is the perception that your students are not personally engaged with what is being taught. Here you are, teaching the most important truths in the universe with heartfelt passion, and some children seem completely disinterested, entirely inattentive, and utterly bored. Furthermore, your creative efforts to gain their attention and involve them in the lesson fail. At times like this, it’s tempting to ask: “Are they even listening? Is any of this truth reaching their minds and sinking into their hearts?” What’s a teacher or small group leader to do? ... More

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